The European Russia Drought Atlas (1400–2016 CE)

Abstract

We present the European Russia Drought Atlas (ERDA) that covers the East European Plain to the Ural Mountains from 1400–2016 CE. Like the Old World Drought Atlas (OWDA) for the Euro-Mediterranean region, the ERDA is a one-half degree gridded reconstruction of summer Palmer Drought Severity Indices estimated from a network of annual tree-ring chronologies. Ensemble point-by-point regression is used to generate the ERDA with the identical protocols used for developing the OWDA. Split calibration/validation tests of the ERDA indicate that it has significant skill over most of its domain and is much more skillful than the OWDA where they overlap in the western part of ERDA domain. Comparisons to historical droughts over European Russia additionally support the ERDA’s overall validity. The ERDA has been spatially smoothed and infilled using a local regression method to yield a spatially complete drought atlas back to 1400 CE. EOF analysis indicates that there are three principal modes of hydroclimatic variability in the ERDA. After Varimax rotation, these modes correlate significantly with independent climate data sets extending back to the late nineteenth century in a physically interpretable way and relate to atmospheric circulation dynamics of droughts and heatwaves over European Russia based on more recent instrumental data.

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Acknowledgements

Funding for this study was provided to E.R.C. by the Center for Climate and Life at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. The development of the new tree-ring network in European Russia was spearheaded by O.S. and V.M. through their many contacts with tree-ring scientists in Russia and surrounding countries who generously contributed their tree-ring data for use. The list of co-authors reflects these many contributions. O.S. and V.M. have also received support from the State assignment project no. 0148- 2019-0004 (AAAA-A19-119022190172-5). L.A. received financial support from the State Contract of the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, UB RAS (project no. AAAA-A19-119031890086-0) and Russian Fund for Basic Researches (project no. 19-05-00591). E.D. was supported by the Russian Science Foundation project no. 17-77-20123. A.S. was supported by Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien (KVA, including the Margit Althins Stipendiefond), Svenska Sällskapet för Antropologi och Geografi (SSAG), Wilhelm och Martina Lundgrens Vetenskapsfond and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency SIDA (project SWE-2009-245) and thanks those in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan for help in obtaining samples. D.T. was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and by the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan within the framework of the research project no. 18-44-160028. M.Y. is grateful to the staff of Laboratory of Productivity & Stability of Plant Communities, Institute of Experimental Botany National Academy of Science of Belarus for their help in collection of samples. Belarusian tree-ring chronologies were developed in the project #1.06 “Assessment of the impact of urbanization and land reclamation on the climate, water, land and forest resources of Belarus” of the Belarusian State Research Program “Environmental management and ecology”. The ERDA is archived for public availability with the National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/study/28630). Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Contribution No. 8374.

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Cook, E.R., Solomina, O., Matskovsky, V. et al. The European Russia Drought Atlas (1400–2016 CE). Clim Dyn 54, 2317–2335 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-019-05115-2

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Keywords

  • European Russia
  • East European plain
  • Drought atlas
  • Tree-ring network
  • Droughts and heat waves